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In Preparation 


Two Deaths 
In the Bronx 




copyright, 1 916 
Nicholas L. Brown 

Printed March 1916. 

m iO 1916 






L TERRACE: P. 1 7 

II. loyalty: p. 18 












II. UNE NuiT blanche: P. 35 



n. adolphe: p. 37 



II. HUGH frothingham: p. 41 
THE beggar: p. 44 


L IRIS: p. 46 
II. GREY ROOM : P. 47 







Michael Bennett: Pitts Sanborn: Edivin A. Robinson: 
Marie A.: C. Pierie Garde: Jane Haven: Gilbert Seldes: 
Helen Henderson: Bushnell Dimond: Elvira Andreani: 
Lay ton Crippen: Carl Van Vechten: William R. 
Murphy: THE REVEREND Herbert Throgmorton: Endi- 
cott Rich: C. Howard Bonte: Robert P. Lowry: Kenneth 
Macgowan: Arthur D. Ficke: H. T. Craven: A. Gil- 
bert Clarke: Howard Shelley: Steve Talbot: Owen 


THE sodden stretches of the months of pregnancy 
Had had but one green orchid ; 
That was their sole pauseful 
And suspended moment of beauty. 
He had brought it home to her at dawn 
On the day before Christmas, 

And he was a little drunken as he dropped it on her bed. 
But it was a green orchid, 
And pleased she took it unquestioningly. 
He had bought it with many more 
Hours and hours earlier for the girl, 
Who was then amusing him. 
In some way it had got into his pocket — 
Or, perhaps, it was his buttonhole. 
He had noticed it as he entered the abode of maternity, 
And with his quick sense of values 
He offered it in a tenderness. 
He would have sent her orchids every day, 
But he had no money to spare. He must live. 

He was spending the nine months with her — 
He had promised to do that — to take care of her 
Until their child was born — 
Then she would go away with the child. 
She was grateful, and, in a way, content. 
He had taken an apartment for her far from Broadway, 
And sooner or later every night he came home to her. 
In the morning she took him his breakfast first, 
Then gave him a cigarette, and made his telephone 
calls — 

There was alwaj^s one, at least, 

To arrange for a luncheon or tea hour, 

For, continuously, he was deeply in love. 

He told her all his secrets. 

And by the eighth month she had come in her daily 

To call three women by their first names. 
He had loved each one, 
And he still, it appeared, loved the third. 
She had lent him all her money. 

And he was paying it back during the nine months — 
He made her an allowance each week, 
And he felt very proud 

That he gave her so much of his scant income. 
Every fourth week or so he would be held up 
On the way home and robbed, 
But she got the three weeks' money. 
So she was too wise to question or to remember. 

Soon there were the doctor and the nurse, 
And the last waiting week had arrived. 
He was hard to seize then, for he had so many engage- 
There was a hint of a new and lovelier girl. 
But she wrote him notes and left them on his bed, 
And went about her plans in silence. 
She made a cheque out to him for all the money 
She had saved and put in the bank, 
For she expected to die with her babe, 
And she wanted him to take the money and bury her 
And the child in the absurd graveyard in the mountains, 
Where her adorable drunken father lay. 


It was having had such a father 

That let her understand him. 

She put the cheque 

In the bottom of her trvmk, 

In which were all her theatrical costumes, 

And with the cheque she put the biog;raphy 

She had thought out. 

The biography was for the doctor 

And his report to the authorities. 

She was his sister and she was married — 

Her husband was in the West and was detained 

From coming to her by imperative business. 

Thus she smoothed out to niceness 

The troublesome details of the function of birth. 

In the last night, with the birth pains 

Gripping her, she came to his bedroom. 

For he had come home earlier, and her nurse 

Was asleep after a tiring day. 

She told him of the cheque and her heart's wishes. 

He listened tolerantly, and wondered why 

It was so fascinating to watch a woman in labour. 

She was silent in her agony, 

And he rather liked her for that. 

Then he fell to speculating on the cheque, 

And he asked himself whether there was 

Any likelihood that she would die. 

It seemed a shame, but it would be 

A solution of the problem. 

She really wasn't equipped to go on alone 

With the handicap of a baby. 

And he would give her the serene burial she longed for, 


There was four hundred dollars, he learned, 

But he would spend every sou of it 

For her funeral and the child's. 

One could give a flashing party for four hundred dollars, 

But that was outside the question — 

He was merely the steward of her estate. 

Next day he had to leave early — 

The delivery, he was told, was still some hours of¥, 

But he would keep in touch by telephone, 

And he must hear "Manon"; 

It had all been arranged for. 

It was difficult to telephone, 

Yet he did after nightfall — during dinner — 

And he turned a trifle pale when he learned 

That she had, in truth, died — and the babe with her. 

In fact, he felt a bit sick. 

There was much to attend to ; 

He ought to get the cheque at once. 

And make the plans for the burial. 

He sent for a newspaper to look up an undertaker, 

And it chanced that the only advertisement he could find 

Was of one who promised adequate disposal 

Of the dead for seventy-five dollars. 

He could not help it — it was thrust at him ; 

And the child would only be a trifle more — 

At the most one hundred dollars for both. 

And then there would be three hundred dollars left 

It was sentimental to think about the dead — 

What did it matter where one was buried or how? 


And he could get the cheque cashed to-night, 

And this was the night ! 

With three hundred dollars he could give a party 

That would be memorable. 

And he had not done much thus far for her. 

She was of a loveliness. 

And he was sure he would cease to wander when he got 

Death had simplified everything — 
It was no use being morose. 
He could afford a taxi now 
To get uptown quickly for the cheque. 
But he would telephone the undertaker first, 
Then a half dozen people for guests. 
And, last of all, her who had come at the fitting hour 
To make his heart glad and at rest. 

It was all swiftly done, 

And the whir of the motor was grateful music. 

He had done cruelly by himself to deny his soul 

For all these months the napery of Rector's 

And the gold service and the glass. 

He loved beauty so! 

He remembered it was absinthe 

That had made this dear, new woman 

Kind to him that first night, so in memory 

He ordered absinthe for himself, 

While she and his guests drank Pommery. 

He knew he had behaved admirably through the long 

nine months — 
He felt it would give a touch of sterling honesty 


To his character, a stupid, basic honesty 

He had always so needed. 

And he let himself sink away from all the immediate past 

That had been so incongruous and impossible. 

One way or other the undertaker 

Would do all that was necessary — 

He needn't even visit the apartment again. 

And somehow he knew she would invite him. 

To go home with her 

When they got rid of their guests. 

He ordered another absinthe! 



THEY sat in her drawing-room amid easeful silence 
in tolerant enmity. 
The men were three, and her husband was the 
This in its way amplified his urbanity. 
His suavities were of ivory. 
He was more irreproachable than her virginal teacups. 

She gave her lips to the moment, and her fingers nestled 

in a bowl of apricots. 
The tea was amber, and the pungent lemon and the 

blanched sugar 
Seized and caressed the e^es as each man took a proffered 


It loosed the tongues, and the four were free. 

As four portraits on a wall come to life they stirred the 

silence with a babbling that gleamed. 
The drawing-room was draped in a wistaria mist. 
And the flutter of the phrases patted the cheek with 

an alien charm. 
In but a short while she had become dominant, 
And then she wrapped herself in the soothing nerves of 

The three were lost in the pursuit of fragrance. 
Their chairs were their kingdoms, and there were no 

other empires. 
Archly then her voice dared : 
"Will you have another cup, my beloved?" 


It was three cups that rang to her, and her husband's, it 

chanced, was the third. 
She smiled over her adroit and ample confession, and it 

was enough. 
She had done with the hour. 
And she let the uneasy hush turn to a hodden-grey. 



AS they sat sipping their glasses in the courtyard 
Of the Hotel de la Tigresse Verte, 
With their silk-swathed ankles softly kissing. 
They were certain that they had forever 
Imprisoned fickleness in the vodka — 
They knew they had found the ultimate pulse of love. 

Story upon story, the dark windows whispered down 
To them from above, and over the roof's edge 
Danced a grey moon. 

The woman pressed her chicken-skin fan against her 

And through her ran trepidant mutinies of desire 
With treacheries of emotion. Her voice vapoured : 
"In which room shall it be to-night, darling?" 
His eyes swept the broad facade, the windows, 
Tier upon tier, and his lips were regnant : 
"In every room, my beloved !" 



I AM kissing your wayward feet — 
The rumours of flight are broken, 
Your hands are a dear pale token. 
I adore you to touch me, sweet, 
And now are the frail vows spoken. 

It is bravely the words are said, 
Faith is a flash on our faces — 
We mock as the mummer traces 
The dawn when the month is dead, 
Loyalty mussed like your laces. 




THE lovers seek the boudoir- 
Awkward and amorous, 
Excited but emotionless, 
And over them hover 
Desolate ardours. 



ANGULAR arrogance 
In the urge of rage 
Scratching the infinite 
For a relief 
In the impotence 
Of unbelief! 



IT is Easter morning, 
And my beloved, with a quaint belated zeal, 
Has fled the city 
To hunt for the Garden of Gethsemane. 

I woke an hour since, 

And sat up in my bed. 

Which last year I had the artisans 

And drapers fashion as a water-lily. 

The pillows are in green chenille, 

And the sheets are great wisps of olive satin, 

Then comes a warmth of velvet ivy 

To crush the cold, 

And beneath everything 

I lie in cream white. 

I sat up the hour since. 

And mused for a moment 

On the ashes in my hearth, 

Wishing they were mauve instead of grey — 

Death in mauve would be so much nicer — 

And then I performed my usual morning office— 

The kissing of shoulders! 

I was generous this morning — 
I kissed the right shoulder first, 
Although I am secretly in love 
With the left. 

Then it was that I realized 
The beloved was seeking 


The Garden of Gethsemane, 
And I was alone. 

I must have a companionless day, 

A waste, lonely day indoors, 

For manifestly I could not venture forth 

Into Fifth Avenue alone. 

To-day it would be unpleasantly disturbed 

With clerks and sempstresses — 

To remind one of one's bills — 

And well-to-do vulgar folk, 

The women frantically eager 

To flaunt their bad taste in dress. 

I love Fifth Avenue, 

But I am a cat. 

And so to-day I could not endure 

The alien contacts 

At my elbow of the crowds that pass. 

Obviously, then, I must remain within. 

At first I seemed to have no resources, 

But I looked at my bed, 

And adored it. 

And my wounded self-esteem was soothed. 

I bade the discords 

Of awkward solitariness 

A curt farewell. 

It came to me that it was imperative 
That I should spend the day 


Free of the slavery of thinking. 

I have never been forced to think — 

It is my ever-living pulsing fear 

That I may be brought to it some day. 

But how not to think? 

How not to spoil the epigram — 

She was born to be. 

Not to think? 

In a caressing whisper 

The Avenue unrolled — 

I found the marriage of the hours! 

For I would write a book, 

And furiously scrivening 

With the minutes flying past 

I should not be degraded to thought; 

I should be writing; 

Which is a refuge from cerebration. 

And I was so joyous 

That I bared my shoulders 

For a second time, 

And kissed them. 

This time I was self-indulgent, and approached, 
Reverently, the left shoulder first! 



HE had for years been denuding himself of facts ; 
He lived in the heart of the city, but he eluded 
The present as easily as he pushed back the past, 
And the future meant for him 
Only the monumental painting he had projected. 
He had triumphed over his ow^n intellect, and had 
Carried himself back to the state of Adam. 

One day I visited him and found 

Him hard at work with his brushes; 

He no longer conversed with one. 

So he grunted me greeting not stopping his labour. 

I was interested just then in the Saviour, 

His quotidian majesty of poise and sublime sureness of 

pose ; 
And I walked back and forth in the studio, 
Reviewing enthusiastically 
The superb efficiency of the Man of Galilee. 
I forgot for an instant how close to the first womb 
My friend had returned, and suddenly burst forth: 
*'Was not Jesus Christ the bigger man because 
After all He knew He was a faker?" 
And the painter turned, annoyed at my interrupting him; 
"But who was Jesus Christ?" 

His picture is a masterpiece — 
It is called "Humanity." 



SUAVE body of the Queen, she gave me you, 
Misting in still, warm rains of tenderness — 
But kept herself, and we are each betrayed. 
You are her mistress, and she makes of me 
Another mistress! Playthings are we both. 
When we thought she meant us for full sovereignty; 
It was not regal, and her throne is stained. 
She bade you seek me, and your singing feet 
Ran quickly, surely; you held out your hands. 
You had no fear because you felt my heart 
Leap as you laid your white breast under it. 
We had no prides to conquer as we kissed, 
For we knew kinship in our overthrow. 
Yet now she stands apart and questions us. 
How can she question — leave me out of it — 
But you, her body, her sweet source of joy, — 
How can she then divide herself from you, 
And calmly reckon what the gain may be? 
The hour will come when she will tire of us. 
And all your softness will be broken up, 
Your rioting lips chilled with an ashen wind. 
There is a hint of vileness in the air, 
And on the strings a dance of ironies. 
With love's scarecrow jigging wearily. , . 
Still I have you — so I am not afraid ! 



YOUR hat was of an angle, and the veil 
Was impudent with seven maddening spots — 
With the mouth left free to drink the cool sun- 
That amber-laden swept the afternoon. 
Your gown caressed you, and your level gaze 
Fed on the greenness of the cleansing Spring — 
Peacocks and yew trees mirrored from your eyes. 

I walked beside you, and my hands were glad — 
They ran the lines that weave your body-spell. 

"Why not to-night?" I asked, and then you smiled, 

Half-flattered by my wish, but with wide wings 

You gave unyielding answer, "You forget 

You had my lips only four days ago; 

We wait two more." And there was in your tone 

Urbanity that showed a steady pulse. 

I was not rebuked — you paid acknowledgment 

For the fluttered voice that broke with stressed desire; 

Still, this was no hour for the faggot-fire. 

Miracle woman, you were far astray — 

Your mouth is wine, and all your tender flesh 

An easeful meadow for my weariness, 

But it was not flame I asked for. It was talk, 

The winding minutes of great friendliness, 

And the immense companioning of you, 

Keen, vivid, rich, warming, and wholly sweet. 

I have waited twenty years to talk to you, 

And all that empty time I have searched for you. 


Now that I have found you shall I wait six days, 

And fill the interval with other things? 

There is nothing else — the world's dropped away. 

For twenty years I have slept upon your breast — 
You did not know me, but you felt me there! 



THERE was a snake in the gutter — 
She was positive of that. 

It had shown its head twice until the snow had 
forced it back — 
When it snowed it was good for begging, too ; 
But the wind to-night was too freezing — 
It hurried people along. 

She could see the money lumps on a dozen girk' legs — 
What need had they for money? — 
And she had but one dime 
That felt bad for the hour's intoning : 
"Help a poor old woman who's starving, 
For the sake of Mary, the Pvlother of God." 

The snake could not reach her while it kept on snowing, 

Yet the snow might stop. 

She ought to be away, 

But the bad dime didn't help much. 

Why wouldn't people listen? 

Her left hand was numb, but she couldn't put it 

Between the newspapers wrapped around her 

Under her cloak. 

For there was the frozen carnation 

That had to be dangled 

Before the eyes of passersby 

If the quarters were ever to come in. 

The carnation was now three days old, 

And of a mustard shade, 

For saloon dust discolours. 

But yesterday it had brought her a half dollar at noon — 


It was not to be discarded. 

She wished she knew whether snakes feared carnations. 

If it had a longer stem she might get 

Her hand inside the cloak 

And let the flower show outside — 

But a man must have worn it in his buttonhole, 

And she was afraid to stick it in the cloak's fold, 

Lest the wind blow it away. 

There wouldn't be many more people now 

Until the theatres were out. 

It was a bad stand, anywaj' — 

Why had she come here? 

The lights were too bright. 

Here was someone opening a purse. She droned : 

"Help a poor woman, for the Mother of God." 

It was no more than a dime, 

But it was a good one this time — 

Two more, and she could leave the snake 

There in the gutter. 

Maybe she could pass the bad coin between the good ones. 

Then the theatres would be out. 

She was glad there weren't many people passing — 

She was tired of approaching them ; 

They never heard all she said. 

There was no use of her making any sound. 

If she could only sit down comfortable and warm 

In a chair, and hold her hand out — 

Then she could bury her head in her cloak, 

And she wouldn't see the gutter, 

And the snake couldn't see her. 

There would be dozing, and when the midnight came 


She would count the coins, 

A lot of dimes and some quarters, 

And there wouldn't be anything more to think about, 

And she could throw away the carnation. 

Here was a crowd again — 

The theatres were letting out earlier and earlier, 

And it was not snowing as hard. 

She wondered if the snake knew that? 

She had to speak again ; it was her last chance, 

For everybody was hurrying by; they always hurried — ■ 

And then there would be nobody. 

She needed both her hands. 

For there were coatsleeves to be touched. 

But she mustn't lose the carnation until she knew 

Whether the morrow demanded it. 

There was only her hair — she might stick the dirty 

flower in it, 
And then she was free to fight the snake. 
It was the best hour. 
But she had always made a mistake. 
People never heard all she said, 
And, besides, they gave too little. 
She must speak quickly — her throat burned, 
But words must come. A few would answer. 
Dimes weren't worth many. Anything would do : 
'Tlease help — the Mother of God." 



ONSIEUR Y., the artist, has haunting hands — 

Fingers that are unforgetable. 

I have sat for arrested spaces, 
Pondering the influence of their inhibitions — 
Gazing at a battlefield where emotions 
Had been in tragic conflict. 

The hands are to the first glance decently formed, 
But they awaken curiosity rather than admiration. 
For the essence of their exquisiteness 
Is not quickly to be felt. 

Their beauty is draped — as all enduring beauty 
Must be — with indifference. 

Monsieur Y. has always been indulgent to me. 

His studio I seek as an asylum 

From the wolves — my dear friends. 

He says he is not my friend, 

And for the whim I have believed it. 

One November afternoon when I knew he would be 

Heartily engrossed on his new canvas, 

And I was chilled with Broadway's ineptitudes, 

I sought his presence. 

It was even a chillier welcome I received. 

But there is sometimes a flame in frigidit}^ 

That gives the longed-for social shock. 

He lit the lamp for the tea kettle. 
And went back to work. 

Leaving me to the half-shadowed intimacies of house- 


Xhe tea service is simply done, 

So I was soon free to regard him, 

And his brusqueness stirred me to protest. 

I parried first — for I am not stupid — 

And asked whether he thought 

It was a strain of pity for the fallen Madonnas 

He painted so admirably that had given his hands 

An immaculate augustness that was smoothed away 

Into a catholic simplicity. 

That was grandiose, but it won a rejoinder. 

I had not whispered of the spirituality. 

But it was that he ofFered me. 

I had seized the nuance. 

"You have an insistent way," he said, 

"But insistence has its boundaries. 

Yet you are a mirror, and a mirror 

Is sometimes a solution. 

It glimmers back one's futility. 

I like my hands more than you do, 

For they are the symbols 

Of the only triumph I shall ever know. 

They are the trophies of my conquering. 

A long time ago I was absorbed with love for a woman, 

Who was merely touched with fragrant pleasure 

Because I worshipped her. 

She, too, was in love, but not with me. 

We met often, 

And spent long hours together and alone, 

When only the sheerest intervals separated us. 

We luncheoned, we dined, we theatred together. 

We walked and talked. And we tea-cupped. 

She gave me of the sight of her loveliness 


In abundant generosity because I adored her. 

And all the time I had my hands. All the hours 

I was at her side they ached to touch, 

To move over her — not to grasp in bestial, imperative 

But to finger, to question the softness of her flesh, 
To sing as they crept over her, 
To give the quick, wild quivers of possession. 
But because of the pride of the saffron highway 
I never touched her; 

I held back through all the evasions of our communion. 
She came to like me very much, though I never 
Thrilled her to a fine surrender. 
But it has worked its way out — 
For she was brought to realize 
That because I did not make a false tempo 
With the hungry hands there was homage to be paid 

Now, I think it is really time for you to go. 

There was the secret of his perfect hands — 
They were still full of yearning blood. 
All his desire had leaped out into them, 
And it remained there — 

The hands were two lovers, vainly waiting for their 





WE have lain 
Breast to breast, 
Bi-ain to brain. 
For the rest 
All is vain — 
Mixed with pain. 
Is our stain. 
Naught is plain 
Save the chain — 
So again 

Ends the quest — 
Breast to breast, 
Brain to brain. 
Joy is best — 
Stars again 
In the rain ! 



AND, Daughter of the Moon, this interlude 
Snows the sweet pastures in between your 
Cold from the sea I rise, and vaguely brood 
With all desire far off, and we are guests 
In upland meadows where the silence rests. 

You are lost to me for love wantonness. 
But now I touch your girlhood's wraith in flight, 
Retrace the years you were companionless, 
For as I kiss your mouth you make the night 
Quiet and virginal and green and white. 



BEYOND doubt he was an egoist, 
At every angle, in every breath; 
But he was always seeking a woman 
With whom he could abandon it, 
Cast it away for a blended unity 
That would yield a rich, absorbed 
And impersonal common personality. 



HE was of a scant passion at that odd hour, 
But he caught the smooth content 
Of the question spread out before him — 
It roused him to barbaric acknowledgment: 
"I have no quarrel with virginity, 
Though many have called it cold, 
And others have found it barren. 
For, after all, it can be raped!" 
There was his voice that crept out 
Hungrily in hunt for a fresh immaculate. 
His was not lubricity. 
He had merely resisted 
The enervating influence 
Of the untold centuries of civilization. 




AS my chin pressed against the arm 
Of the amiable Hildegarde 
I was brought to realize 
That I had neglected to shave, 
And as I knew that I should not take full pleasure 
At dawn in the ceremony of the bath 
If bristles were on my face 
I determined that I would go forth 
In search of a barber, a whimsical barber, 
For surely he must be a whimsical coiffeur, 
To have his shop open as late as four o'clock. 

The Hildegarde did not wake as I dressed, 

But she smiled me good fortune on my adventure. 

When I reached the street 

I decided I would go 

In the direction the wind was blowing, 

And so it was to the East I went. 

Soon I came upon stairs that seemed 

To lead down a great way, 

And the entrance portal was lighted, 

And convinced I said: 

"Here will I descend. It must take me to my barber." 

Flight after flight I wound down, 

And the lights increased in number, 

I was almost forgetting my errand in my excitement, 

When suddenly I saw a sign, — "Barber Shop de Luxe" 


Over the door of a still more brilliantlj'^ lighted room. 

Many barbers and many patrons I noticed as I entered. 

And I vowed I would never patronize any other estab- 

But as I glanced about I could see no chairs. 

Everything else was there — but no chairs. 

Then an attendant came up to me, "Shave, sir?" 

"Yes, but where?" I replied, "there are no chairs." 

"Ah, they are not needed," he explained. "Just look." 

I followed his finger, and beheld a client, 

Who had entered just ahead of me. 

He had removed his cravat and collar, 

And his barber had given him a razor. 

With a detached nonchalance 

He deftly cut oH his own head. 

And gravely handed it to the barber, 

Who quickly lathered the face and began his ministra- 

Then I perceived the other barbers 

Were all busied in the same way, 

While the decapitated leaned against the walls 

Leisurely waiting 

The return of their heads. 

A barber finished — hot towel, cold cream, massage, 

And with the head, the hair immaculately brushed 
And moustache waxed, 
On a silver tray. 

He smilingly passed it back to its owner, 
Who placed it on his neck with both hands, 


Nodding thanks, while he dropped silver 
In the barber's palm. 

It was my turn and my collar was off. 

I held a razor, and it all seemed 

Much the better Way to be shaved. 

I raised the blade to my throat, but then I stayed my 

For at my feet I saw a great pool of blood. 
"Why is that?" I asked the barber. 
He showed a little shrug: 
"It was nothing. A customer was careless. 
He put his head on insecurely, 
And it fell off. It was slightly bruised, 
And it did not become him as well 
When he put it on again." 

"One cannot be too careful 

In one's care of one's person," I thought. 

"The man has lost much blood. 

He will be very pallid to-morrow." 

And then I changed my mind about being shaved. 

I covenanted with myself: 

"I will raise a beard." 



ON his thirtieth birthday he awoke in a dire mood, 
And he was of no heart to grasp at the flying 
For little minutes of happiness. 
He knew he was no longer a boy, and youth being to 

The one true virginal beauty of life, 
The knowledge of his own passing 
Filled him with unspeakable sadness. 
And he felt his soul tainted with staleness. 

It was noon when he breakfasted in bed. 

And as the servant brought in on the tray 

Several packets that had arrived by the post 

It aroused no curiosity within him. 

In truth, he was as one 

Stricken with a mortal malady. 

And listlessly he picked up 

Even the box that the inscription told him 

Came from the woman with the hands of covering flame. 

When the box was opened and he saw the gift 

There came a slight indrawn breath 

Of petulance and hurt protest. 

She had sent him a bundle of white collars. 

And the mystery of such a choice 

Struck him as a cruel heaping on of misery. 

"Have I need of collars?" he sighed weakly. 

"Why is she so unkind?" 


With numbed senses he dragged himself from bed, 

And bathed and dressed, feeling angrily 

That everything looked drab. 

When it came to the selection of neckwear 

He reached for the bundle of collars she had sent. 

He would wear one, and then descend on her. 

He would reproach her for her stupid 

And inane jest, 

And she would have to listen 

To all his spleen against Fate for arranging life 

So that his youth should depart. 

He would make her day unhappy, too ; 

That would be her punishment. 

He moved toward the mirror to arrange his cravat, 
And for the first time in his life 
He tasted no pleasurable thrill 
As his glance sought for its mirrored twin. 
He was old. It was ghastly, grotesque. 
He involuntarily shut his eyes as he reached the glass. 
He for a moment could not look; 
Then with fingers clasping his hips he gazed. 
"Is this another torture?" he all but screamed. "It 
not I. Where am I?" 

He was looking at a boy of twenty-three, 
Graceful as a silver poplar. 

A gasp swept him to another mirror, 
And it gave him the answer. 

"Madonna of the white collars," he cried, "you ha- 
done it. 


"Your gift has given me back my boyhood. 
"This is a collar for an innocent lad, 
"And it takes away the burden of ten years. 
"Why did I not think of it myself?" 

Singing he tore from the house, 

And made his way. 

Choked with ardour. 

To the boudoir of the beloved. 



LET us always be prodigal towards beggars, 
For they are the sentinels 
At the outposts of civilization. 
If the mendicants should desert us 
We should have no choice 
But to surrender to efficiency, 
And aristocracy must perish. 
From the world would vanish all the soft vices, 
Extravagance, frivolousness, greed, 
Selfishness, luxury, wastefulness. 
And life would grow intolerable 
Under the curse "All men are equal." 

Let us never pas^ a beggar without giving, 

For just as society would crumble 

If the derelicts ceased to waylay us, 

So would the soul shrivel, 

And none could save his own soul. 

The beggars are our saviours, for we give, 

And thus make atonement for our sins. 

If a man toss a silver piece to a beggar 

On his way to the first rendezvous 

With his wife's friend 

He will not feel remorse for the liaison. 

He has been generous to one of God's creatures — • 

That will absolve him. 

If a man throw a gold piece to a beggar 
He may be faithless to his mistress, 


Or desert his wife. 

His gift will excuse all, 

And he may stroll along the boulevards 

Sustained and nourished 

By his own milk of human kindness. 




T was better so 

When you did not know- 
A short while ago. 

You are kind indeed, 
And my hungers feed 
Since you feel my need. 

But I pay in pain 
And how very vain 
The few hours I gain. 

In the old distress 
There was little stress 
For, companionless, 

I would paint the days, 
With my heart a phase 
Of an ancient phrase. 

Now, imperative 
For my soul to live 
Is the joy you give! 

I am torn with fear 
You will disappear, 
When you are not near. 

It was better so 

When you did not know — 



But not the nearest- 
If I call 
Will you come 
To the dying? 
I am lying 
Brumal, dumb 
By the wall. 

But never the nearest 
When I fall 
Through the gods, 
Or the odds. 



THE whole night through 
To lie waiting for you 
To come down the long corridor to me ! 
Hints of you, sweet, 
A hundred times your feet 
Near as the walls and floors move wearily. 

Midnight to dawn, 

Bringing oblivion, 

I taste the night sounds as the stir of you. 

Ghosts of a white 

Flame lingering in flight 

When the torture of the listening is through. 



AMID the pathos of the deca}^ of character • 

I have found the highroad leading to an income, 
And a bland, flaunting, shameless income, 
-As delicious as a harlot's. 
After all, I have not made love in vain, 
And the vi^omen shall pray — and keep me! 
It will give me also the strengthening w^ine '. 

Of revenge for the stupidities 
And inanities and ruined beauty 
Of the disappointing daughters of Eve. 
I have found all women stupid save Maenad Mauna. 
But she had too many characters. 
And she got lost in them, 
And so I hate her most of all. 
Shadowy women, why were you all so stupid ? 
You were all pretty — and Mauna Vv'as exquisite 
To the point of ecstasy — 
But you broke my heart. 

For you could not save me from tiring of you. 
And so you must pay the penalty, 
And it shall be b}/^ providing me with an income. 
I have searched for years for an income. 
And now I have found it. 
It is very simple. 

I have every letter ever written to me — 

Don't you remember how I read you all the other 

women's letters? 
And I have read all the others 
All your letters. 


You learned everything about one another, 

And each of you thought she alone 

Had the secrets. 

And the letters — did you not write indiscreetly, 

And damningly, and surrenderingly ? 

And I have all the letters. 

I shall offer them to you all for sale — 

Each M^oman may buy back her ovi^n letters, 

All but Mauna. 

Will you buy? 

I think so. 

If you do not, I shall publish them — - 

Each collection in a separate volume, 

And then you will be lost. 

I begin to-morrow having them typewritten, 

And the day after my income begins. 

I may spend the winter pleasurably in Nice — 

I can try my new system at Monte Carlo. 

I hold your reputations in my hands. 

And you must pay, 

Else I shall open my hands, and you will be ruined. 

It is useless to balk, to beseech. 

You must capitulate. 

For those of you who are recalcitrant 

I shall have many prods of terror — 

And revivifying cruelty will make the days 

Glad and exciting for me. 

Dear v/omen, j'^ou have done well — 
Most of you have husbands, 
And some of you have children. 


You all have speckless names. 

Why ever In the world were you so rash 

As to write me as you did. 

If you try to avoid my levy 
I shall send you a copy 
Of one of your letters on a day 
When you are giving a brave dinner, 
With a little printed slip reminding you 
Of the volume soon to go to the printer. 
Will it not chill your blood? 
Will you not pay? 

But for you, Maenad Mauna, 

I shall have no mercy. 

There was no excuse for you — 

You were lovely, you were of a brain 

Satisfying and many-coloured and winding, 

And you ran through the days 

Like a perfumed breeze. 

You could have charmed me for the whole of life- 

I can forgive the others, but not you. 

I can forgive the two who married me — 

They, at least, divorced me — 

But you, like me, let your character go bankrupt, 

You were too many women. 

And so I lost you. 

Your letters shall be published. 

And you will lose everything you now hold dear, 

For you have become a striking woman, 

And scorn will sear you. 

Why were you at all — if j'^ou were not to remain? 


What have you now that shows 

With what we might have had together? 

There is a reason for every one else, 

But none for you. 

They w^ere born stupid, and their beauty left them, 

But you had magnificent understanding and hunger for 

And your beauty only increased 
As you ministered to your senses. 
The others shall give me an income. 
But you will afford me atonement. 
When I publish the book of your letters 
You will be thrust from your home; 
You will become a prostitute. 
I know you will die in the gutter — 
Perhaps, when I see you there 
I shall cease to love you, 
For you were the moon that might have saved the stars. 




SHE had passed through the operation successfully 
And her husband was sitting at her bedside. 
He gazed at her imperious hair 
And faintly flushed face, 

And where with inviting intimacj^ her breasts' outline 
Came through the sheet full and firm. 
She was of an unbelievable softness, 
And her eyes seemed filled with affection. 

He must go to business, and he rose. 

Reluctant to leave her — 

Then as he bent over to kiss her 

His body throbbed with proud hunger. 

He walked down the streets happy as a child 

With a bright new toy, saying to himself: 

"To-day, to-night, to-morrow, next week, 

A month, and she cannot be unfaithful!" 



THE man I most admire of all the world 
Moves me also to poignancies of pity. 
He has the most distinguished 
Of the names of mortals — 
It is Ivor Vyvyan. 
He married nine years ago, 

And Madame Vyvyan is of the loveliness of pearls, 
Sheer and shimmering. 
Her faithfulness for their honeymoon 
Was a tender perfume that escaped, 
Yet w^hen they returned to town and she was soon 
Giving bare shoulders to a lover 
Vyvyan seemed 

Not to be caught up by madness. 

It was manifest he loved the exquisite Madame Vyvyan, 
And he appeared to be almost happy; 
He glittered the content 
Of a man who had found a pot of gold 
At the rainbow's end. 

It has been without change for nine years — 

Vyvyan still glitters, and it was only 

A month ago that I drew him to revealment. 

And now I know he is the wisest of human beings. 

"She came to me from a meadow of gardenias," he said, 

"And her hands were full of miracles — 

And the miracles were beauty! 

Beauty is the only necessary thing in life. 

And she brought it alone to me. 

Thus she offered me everything — 


I knew her then for the woman of God. 

Through the years she has given me nothing but beauty, 

And she will remain for several decades 

An impeccably perfect woman. 

She has had her lovers, 

But they do not greatly matter. 

They take nothing from her, 

For she unfolds and unfolds, 

Petal upon petal, waxen, immaculate. 

Her beauty is magnificently inexhaustible — 

She has no thought but to be beautiful. 

And for this she is the noblest of women — 

She is the most devoted of wives. 

For it is the purest essence of wifeliness. 

To spread for me the feast of feasts. 

It saves me from a search for beauty, 

For one must be fed. 

And there is so little beauty in the world! 

She brings it me, and only beauty . . . only beauty!" 

Vyvyan did not sigh when he had finished — 

It was that convinced me. 

She was from a meadow of gardenias, 

And her hands are full of miracles. 

She walks out of the shadows of beauty, 

And her preoccupation is infinite. 

The lovers, one and the hundredth, count for nothing — 

Vyvyan could ask no more. 

He has everything! 



'Y darling, you write me charming letters from 
your bed, 
They caress me, and the darkness covers us, 
And your luminous whispers are in my ear. 
You call me, and I come to you as I read. 
Eager to give you to my hands, 
And be lost upon your breast. 

But often next day when I re-read a letter I dream, 

I wonder, was not your husband, while you wrote it, 

In the next room rising from his bath. 

And sprinkling rice powder over himself 

Making ready to come to j^ou? 

Were not perhaps the words you wrote 

Your torch to set yourself in flames? 

Did not the last echoes 

Of your call to your lover 

Help to sweep you not too passively 

To accustomed clamorous arms? 



AS he entered he had the odour 
Of the law courts about him, 
And so I was not surprised when he said: 
"At last, my friend, it is a divorce." 

The Berwind Howards' estrangement 

Was of several years' standing — 

She had been unfaithful 

Within a year of their marriage, 

But he never reproached her. 

And outwardly he continued to live with her. 

Sometimes I felt angry with him 

Because he ignored the great damning fact. 

And thus I deeply rejoiced when he told me 

Of his coming freedom. 

"Will you be a witness for my wife?" he then asked me. 

I did not understand him at first — 

"You mean, for yourself?" I interrogated. 

"No, no," he replied quickly. 

"My wife will bring the suit ; 

You must testify against me." 

I was dumfounded — 

His conduct was irreproachable. 

Why should she bring action ? 

Hers was the offending — 

And I besought him for an untangling. 

"Of course, she is suing me," he answered. 
"Not had she a dozen lovers 
Could T admit to my soul , 


That she could betray me. 

I have never been able to understand 

How a man can accuse his wife, 

Confess to the world 

That she has found another man 

More to her liking than himself. 

My pride would not let me — 

I have never believed she has been faithless. 

I would deny it with my last breath. 

She must get the divorce — 

My honour demands that the rabble 

Think her a stainless woman. 

For the Berwind Howards I, not she, 

Will do the sinning. 




ER hand came through the curtain like a voice — 
He had pondered this line in ungestured sadness 
As he walked towards the Park, 
And he was filled with enamorate pity, 
Because of the line's perishability. 
He reflected hopelessly that a word's loveliness 
May endure but for a decade, 
And that only the poets who hew colossally 
Out of granite great, uncouth figures 
Can live for eternity. 

There were tears in his eyes for the frail phrases. 
The flairs of beauty that die. 

And the bland insinuations of spring angered him 
In his valetudinarian passage. 

As he crossed the Plaza he stopped to let two hansoms 

But they, too, halted, and from the first, the flaps flung 

suddenly back, 
Came a hand and a face ! 

It was the chatoj^ant Mrs. Ashleigh Norwood, 
The most lyrically woven woman in Philadelphia. 

She gave him greeting out of her suave prides, 
Her inviolate charm and her renewing beauty. 
And he forgot the profaning of the phrases 
Under the assonances of her invictive personality. 
"Will you ride with me?" she asked, and he, 
Pointing to the other hansom abreast hers, parleyed : 
"With you, or in that?" 


"Oh, with me," sloped her answer, 
"The other hansom conveys my emotions — 
I carry with me only my powder puff." 
Flushed he hung on her pause, and held 
The silence, tasting her valorous words; 
Then he bade the driver make on, bowing low 
As she was drawn out of sight. 

The waves crept back, but he knew the sea was coming 

Some of the straightness went out of his body. 
And he prepared for the last surrender. 
"Perishable women! Frail phrases!" 
Then as he let drop his chin upon his breast 
He thought of the long-entombed praise of the printer 
When he looked for the first time 
On Mrs. Norwood's portrait: 
"And she might have killed an Emperor of France." 




Published by 



A tragedy of childhood dealing with the sex question in 
its relationship to the education of children. Fifth edition. 
Cloth, gilt top, deckle edge, $1.25 net. By mail, $1.35. "Here 
is a play which on its production caused a sensation in Ger- 
many, and can without exaggeration be described as remark- 
able. These studies of adolescence are as impressive as they 
are unique." — The Athenceum, London. 

THE CREDITOR. By August Strindberg. Translated from 
the Swedish by Francis J. Ziegler. A psychological study 
of the divorce question by one of the greatest Scandinavian 
dramatists. Cloth, 75 cents net; postage, 8 cents. "Fordring- 
sagare" was produced for the first time in 1889, when it was 
given at Copenhagen as a substitute for "Froken JuHe," the 
performance of which was forbidden by the censor. Four 
years later Berlin audiences made its acquaintance, since when 
it has remained the most popular of Strindberg's plavs in 

TWO DEATHS IN THE BRONX. By Donald Evans. Ebony 
grey boards, antique wove paper. $1.00 net. Mr. Evans has 
again sounded a new note in poetry, and possibly an important 
one.^^ The modernism, mistakenly called Futurism, that in 
the "Sonnets from the Patagonian" sometimes merely amazed, 
in the present instance, stimulates and satisfies. The volume is 
a series of pitiless photographs of profligate men and women 
whp fritter away life, seeking new pleasures, new sensations. 
It is a gallery of incurable poseurs. Mr. Evans's method of 
approach is irony, and each poem is a vial of acid. 

A DILEMMA. By Leonidas Andreiyeff. Translated from the 
Russian by John Cournos. Cloth, 75 cents net; postage, 7 
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grim humor. "One of the most interesting literary studies of 
crime since Dostoieffsky's Crime and Punishment."— CM'cc^o 
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DISCORDS. A volume of poems by Donald Evans. With the 
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poems have no sermon to preach, no evils to arraign, no new 
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strain of modern life. He thinks frankly, and his utterances 
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SWANWHITE. By August Strindberg. A Fairy Drama, 
translated by Francis J. Ziegler. Second edition. Printed 
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conquer evil. So out of the cold North, out of the mouth of 
the world's most terrible misogynist, comes a strange mes- 
sage — one which is as sweet as it is unexpected. And August 
Strindberg, the enemy of love, sings that pure love is all pow- 
erful and all-conquering." — Springfield, Mass., Republican. 

THE WOMAN AND THE FIDDLER. A play in three acts 
by Arne Norrevang. Translated from the Norwegian by Mrs. 
Herman Sandby. Cloth, uncut edges, 75 cents net. By mail, 
83 cents. This play is based upon one of the legends of the fid- 
dlers who used to go about from valley to valley, playing for 
the peasants at their festivities. 

FOR A NIGHT. A novelette by Emile Zola. Translated from 
the French by Alison M. Lederer. 75 cents net. Postage, 10 
cents. The imaginative realism, the poetic psychology, of this 
story of the abnormal Therese who kills her lover; of the 
simple minded Julien who becomes an accessory after the fact 
for love of her, and finally "let himself fall" into the river, 
having first dropped the body of Colombel over, are gripping and 
intense. The masochism at the basis of the love of Therese 
and Colombel, resulting in the murder, is depicted with won- 

derful art and j'ct without any coarseness. The author does 
not moralize, but with relentless pen delineates that madness of 
Therese sown in her soul from birth — a madness which her 
convent training rather enhances than abrogates. The book 
contains two other typical Zola stories : "The Maid of the 
Dawber" and "Complements" — two delightful, crisp bits of 

FROKEN JULIE (Countess Julia). A Naturalistic Tragedy, 
by August Strindberg. Cloth, 75 cents net; by mail, 83 cents. 
Says Mr. James Huneker: It is an emotional bombshell. The 
social world seems topsy-turvied after a first reading. After 
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. . . Passion there is, and a horrible atmosphere of reality. 
Everything is brought about naturally, inevitably. Be it imder- 
stood, Strindberg is never pornographic, nor does he show a 
naked soul merely to afford a charming diversion, which is the 
practice of some French dramatists. That kitchen — fancy a 
kitchen as a battlefield of souls ! — with its good-hearted and 
pious cook, the impudent scoundrel of a valet eager for 
revenge on his superiors, and the hallucinated girl from above 
stairs — it is a tiny epic of hatred, of class against mass. 

TH[E LIVING CORPSE (Zhivoi Teup). A Drama in six Acts 
and twelve Tableaux, by Count Leo N. Tolstoi. Second edi- 
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SUCH IS LIFE. A Play in five Acts, ^ by Frank Wedekind, 
Author of "The Awakening of Spring,'' etc. Second edition. 
Cloth, gilt top, raw edge, net, $1.25; by mail, $1.34. Whatever 
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and Kingship. Though the locale is mediaeval Italy, the scene 
might as well have been laid at the present day, but this was, 
perhaps, too dangerous. While satire runs as an undercurrent 
throughout, the play is primarily one of tense dramatic situa- 
tions and a clearly outlined plot, full of color and action. Por- 

tions of the play are written in verse — verse that runs with 
almost Elizabethan fire and impetuosity. 

FAIRY QUACKENBOSE. By Arthur K. Stern. A Fairy Tale 
with Modern Improvements, Illustrated by Iredell. A book 
for sheer joy and enjoyment is this tale of modern Fairyland. 
Its whimsicalities, its nonsense, its jingling rhymes will amuse 
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direct and appealing language make it particularly pleasant 
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Under this title appear from time to time short stories and 
dramas, chiefly translations from the works of modern European 
authors, each containing from 32 to 64 pages. Printed in large, 
clear type and tastefully bound in gray boards with paper label. 
Each 35 cents net; by mail, 40 cents. Now ready: 

SILENCE. From the Russian of Leonidas AndreiyeflF. Second 
edition. An unusual short story that reads like a poem in 
prose by the leading exponent of the new Russian school of 

MOTHERLOVE. From the Swedish of August Strindberg. 
Second edition. An example of Strindberg's power as analyst 
of human nature. 

A RED FLOWER. By Vsevolod Garshin. A powerful short 
story by one of Russia's popular authors, unknown as yet to 
the English-speaking public. 

THE GRISLEY SUITOR. From the German of Frank Wede- 
kind. An excellent story of the De-Maupassant type. 

Two sketches characteristic of the pen of this noted German 

Other volumes in Preparation. 

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